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Victory is born out of unity

By Nick Zeckets
ARIZONA DAILY WILDCAT

Wednesday September 12, 2001
Headline Photo

Nick Zeckets

Sixty years ago, Japanese Zeros decimated America's primary Pacific base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Since then, our nation has been relatively free from acts of war and terrorism-save Oklahoma City-until yesterday. The World Trade Center's towers were felled and the Pentagon severely damaged by three fully fueled commercial jetliners headed for the West Coast. Although modern-day kamikazes have shown us we are no longer secure in our own homes, we must not judge the innocent as evil.

World leaders responded quickly and promised support. Tony Blair, in a message of condolence and solidarity to the United States, said, "As for those that carried out these acts, there are no adequate words of condemnation," continuing on that "their barbarism will stand as their shame for all eternity." Even Cuba, labeled by the US Department of State as "a developing country with a totalitarian, communist government," offered support.

While leaders pledged assistance, the question still remains: Who committed the assault that Sen. John McCain called "an act of war?"

Osama bin Laden is considered the most likely perpetrator of what President George W. Bush called the "evil" that struck America yesterday morning. Numerous officials and those who make up the inner-sanctum of Bush's staff are pointing their fingers towards the Afghan wilderness, but the burden of proof seems to have been cast off by our leadership as they are only citing bin Laden's probable capabilities and motives.

Eyes were focused on the Middle East today when Palestinians took to the streets in celebration of the attacks. Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer on Israel's government Web site suggested that "extremist Islamic terrorism is the main threat facing the nations of the free world today since its goal is to destroy everything connected to the values shared by democratic governments and western societies." However, a leader of Hamas, a leading Islamic extremist group, said that while the attacks were well deserved, the group had taken no part in the attacks.

Conjecture is not serving the world well today. Our cozy American feelings have indeed been rattled, but jumping to conclusions and laying blame before fault is found creates fanatical tensions leading to hatred and spouting off. The UA campus is not immune.

Embedded in the football message board of UASports.com are scathing remarks and suppositions. One post to the message board from a person with the handle "Eclipse" said, "There were supposedly some Camel Jockeys at the UA Student Union [who] were celebrating today's activities. I don't understand us educating our enemies. And they are the first to scream about their rights." Another member of the board, going by "Dougman," responded saying, "This is the sh*t I fear.....the epithets start, then the fists fly." We must check our punches for now.

America's response will be critical; critical to defining Bush as a president, to showing the world how we will answer attacks, and to ensuring the citizens of this great nation and the rest of the democratic world that we are safe. "LACAT," also on the football message board, expressed his anger saying, "You know that really ....pissssssses me off. The manner in which we respond to the perps in this one will be very important. We have to remind these Neanderthals who laughs last."

Laughing should never come into play in responding to what happened in New York and Washington, D.C. yesterday. Resolve, accuracy and effectiveness are key. America's proverbial brass balls are on the line, or rather, Bush's are. His father had a mediocre level of support from the American people - until the Gulf War, wherein it rose to nearly 80 percent at one point. George Jr. is looking to do the same and has, in both his statement from Shreveport, La. and last evening from the White House, promised a strong reaction.

Before our government puts its reputation on the line - following our dismissal from the Commission on Human Rights and walkout from the World Conference on Racism and Xenophobia - let us be sure. Let us be sure that our enemy is real and true. Moreover, let us be sure that we do not verbally or physically attack the undeserving blameless people who may possibly share ethnic or religious links with the "evil" masterminds of this horrific plot. In war, victory is born out of unity.

 
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